Today I walked an old familiar path through woods I have known since young childhood. Only this time I began where I usually end, and I ended where I usually begin. Everything looked different, altered on the flipside. I came upon unmarked trails leading into mystery–had they been here before? I had lapses of disorientation. Where was I? Do I know this grove of cedars? …this seasonal pond? this patch of horsetail? this steep incline? this creek? I turned in a circle. The path lay quietly behind me and before me. I felt, more than thought, I know this forest, this compacted earth beneath my feet, this April sunlight illuminating trillium and salmonberry blossoms. I know the unseen presences surrounding. I am known here. It occurred to me then, that perhaps I was undoing a spell cast through years of footfalls, or maybe I was weaving a new one–a spell of spring, one of transformation and renewal.
May I be fluid
as the creek
pouring down the hill
making music out of every obstacle.
I come to the ocean with seasonal longings to feel her pulsing power.
She, fierce giver and taker of life.
She, alluring, magnetic promise of eternity.
She could rock me gently, hold me naked beneath a full moon, wash me ashore,
leave me to awaken polished and reborn.
She could swallow me whole, tumble and toss me, steal my every breath,
leave me bloated and stinking of death.
Her cold briny waters surge, roll, crash, flood,
ebb and flow with wane and wax of moon,
eroding land in a slow reclamation.
I look into her depths as if into the cauldron of life.
I see the terrifying and seductive reflection of my dark abyss–
the temptation to end this,
to return to the source here and now.
I see the comforting love that is both mine and not mine–
the love that radiates up from the earth and down from the cosmos,
from my root to my heart to my crown and outwards in all directions.
I see the paralyzing fear of the vast unknown.
I see how true safety is found in belonging and embracing.
I see how death feeds the impulse for life.
I see possibility born out of the courage and wisdom gained by those who weather storms, who ride waves.
I gaze outwards with no awareness of time, simply watching, breathing.
I listen to her song.
It is a song that calls all travelers home,
a song that reminds us our divisions are illusory,
a song that reminds us we are all elementally one.
Spring opens a channel in my heart–
a sudden and soft rush of possibility.
Whether blue skies or gray,
the elements beckon me to join the surging, budding, blooming life,
while the earth reminds me to ground, center,
to bend and sway,
lest I get blown away.
(To the paradigm of patriarchy and all who uphold it.)
I reject your attempts to vilify me.
I reject your efforts to desecrate me.
I, woman of power.
I, bringer of life, mother of children.
I, keeper of soul fire.
I, owner of this earthly body, my pleasure and pain.
I am stronger, wiser, and more clever than you will ever be.
The void in you is distressing.
Your lack of willingness to share power enrages me.
Your inability to love yourself saddens me.
I hold my boundaries with the strength of the trees.
I cast away the stones that have weighed me down, into the river.
I wash my hands clean of resentment and fear.
I return the blame and the guilt that do not belong to me.
I free myself from your constructs of war.
I forgive you.
I give to myself all that you could never give.
All I have ever needed is here within.
I open my heart to receive healthy, whole, reciprocal love.
I open my heart to give healthy, whole, reciprocal love.
I acknowledge the hungry ghosts and do not feed them.
I accept nothing less than true love.
I call upon the four winds,
I call upon earthly and cosmic forces,
I call upon my ancestry:
Be the wind at my back.
Be the ground beneath my feet.
Help me to protect my children.
I maintain my belief in the sacred,
my right to ceremony, and
my faith in goodness.
I allow my heart to swell with compassion.
I flow in connection.
I dance in ecstasy.
I sing to heal.
I sprout and grow, bloom and seed, season after season.
I live a thousand lives and die a thousand deaths.
I embrace possibility.
I accept the challenge of creating another world.
May we always seek each other,
find one another,
and see every arrival with clarity.
May we, you and I,
come into awareness
of our powers
our every thought
may we know them as gifts, sacred.